Purple-bud (紫芽) Pu Er tea is from Wenshan village (文山) in Jinggu (景谷) county in Yunnan province, where the mountain altitude is over 2000 meters.
Purple-bud Pu Er tea is made from the tender single bud of the wild, purple-bud Pu Er tea trees maocha. This tea is called three-color tea; this means the fresh buds on the tea trees are purple, the dried tea is shiny dark, and the infused tea leaves are green for the first one or two years. The purple-bud Pu Er tea tree is actually a rare tea tree variety in the Yunnan large-leaf tea trees and is famous for its high health benefits, high percentage of anthocyanidins, and amino acids, particularly tea polyphenols.
Currently, there is still no road that a car can navigate to this Wenshan village. The Peak team needs to walk about 3 hours to reach this remote village. The spring yield of purple-bud is tea is extremely low, around 50 kgs. The Peak team has to buy partial kilos from various farmers to collect enough fine tea for a reasonable production. Given this, collecting the maocha from the farmers is quite an adventure. After gathering a sufficient quantity of purple-bud maocha, the tea is pressed by traditional stone, which is good for the future storage, and quickens the process of aging.
In the current Pu Er tea market, there are many fake purple-bud Pu Er teas. Many tea merchants use the Zijuan (紫娟) or Zicha (紫茶 purple tea) Maocha and market them as pure, purple-bud Pu Er tea to increase their profit margins at the expense of the consumer. The difference between purple-bud, Zijuan and Zicha lies in the shape, fragrance, taste. But the easiest way to tell the difference is by the particular tea leaf shape. Purple-bud tea has no tea hair and tea saw at both sides; the Zijuan and Zicha do not share these characteristics.
This tea is an outstanding candidate for long-term storage. If the tea is aged for about 5 years, it will already start to demonstrate an aged aroma, sweet and thick taste.
Tea tree: Purple bud big leaves Pu Er tea trees from Wenshan village, Jinggu county, Yunnan province
Harvest time: 2009 spring
Picking standard: One bud
Shape: Tight, fat, plump.
Dried tea color: Shiny dark, bloom
Aroma: high wild flowery, and honey fragrance
Tea soup color: shiny golden yellow
Taste: flowery and honey taste, strong throat feeling, smooth tea soup
Brewing vessel: Recommended Gaiwan; glass cup (another option)
Brewing guidelines: i)Gaiwan: 5-7 grams per time (based on personal taste); the first several infusion is 90C degree or 190F for about 10 second; then the later is about 15-20 seconds. PS, pour the water around the edge of Gaiwan to avoid burning the tender tea buds; don’t pour the hot water on the tea leaves straightly.
ii) glass cup: 2-3 grams per time. the first two infusion is 90C degree or 190F for about 1 minute; then the later is about 3-4 minutes.
Infusion time: i) Gaiwan: around 8-12 times
ii) Glass cup: 4-6 times